The Indian Peninsula is thriving and buzzing with the likes of Exotic Italian Marquees – MV Agusta and Ducati launching their respective mid-weight Supersport machines.
The Italians definitely know how to be flamboyant and outrageous. Both the brands, Ducati and MV Agusta hope to serve up a healthy dose of this Italian flair to the Indian enthusiast. Ducati having entered the Indian market a while back, MV Agusta is the new boy on the block. Let’s now take a closer look at the bikes in question.
The Ducati 959 Panigale is the Italian marquee’s entry level mid-weight super-sport and was launched at the India Bike Week 2016. The MV F3 800 is also a mid-weight super-sport and was launched in May 2016, heating up the competition fairly. The Ducati is powered by their classic signature L-twin Superquadro motor in a new 955cc displacement configuration. Power is now up as compared to the older 899 to 157 HP and 107.4 Nm of torque. Stacking up to this, the slightly older F3 800 is powered by a 798cc triple motor churning out 148 HP and 88 Nm of torque. However, the F3 800 being a 2013 motorcycle doesn’t comply with latest Euro 4 emissions while the 959 was specifically designed with the new emissions in mind. The stricter emissions have forced Ducati to opt for a traditional side mounted dual barrel exhaust as opposed to the 899’s underbody affair. Both bikes feature Ride by Wire throttle systems and feature a slipper clutch as standard.
From a design perspective, these two machines really take motorcycle aesthetics to a whole new level. The 959 and F3 800 take most of their styling cues from their older siblings – the 1299 and the F4 respectively. The 959 features the Panigale signature low sweeping twin headlamp configuration and a sculpted fuel tank. It however misses out on the gorgeous single sided swing arm featured on the 1299. The MV retains a single sided swing arm along with the fabulous single headlamp front setup along with an outrageous triple pipe exhaust housing. The MV F3 800 is definitely the better looking in the two. Ducati was forced to add the unattractive and conventional twin barrel exhaust to what can only described as a masterpiece of a motorcycle. Make no mistake though, both are breathtakingly pretty and exotic, the MV just edging forward with its uncompromised design language.
Ducati and MV, both have equipped their latest crop of middle weight machines with top of the line electronics. Both feature riding modes manipulated with various parameters. Both have complex traction control systems, the Agusta system being a little more intrusive. Both Italians also feature quick shifters as standard. These two machines clearly feature electronics that could rival factory-spec race bikes.
In terms of chassis specifications, the Ducati features its older sister’s monocoque technology that uses the engine as its main stress member. The MV features a more traditional Trellis frame setup. The monocoque setup on the Ducati helps them keep the weight more compact and tight but makes the bike more rigid and less forgiving. Suspension on the 959 is a fully adjustable 43mm Showa BPF forks while the MV features Italian manufactured 43 mm fully adjustable Marzocchi forks. Both bikes feature fully adjustable Sachs mono-shocks at the rear. Surprisingly both bikes are also provided with the same Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres.
The Ducati 959 boasts an ex-showroom price of INR 13,97,000 while the MV is far more expensive sitting at a whopping INR 16,78,000. The Ducati is far more modern and definitely the better performer of the two. Being the older of the two the MV can’t really keep up with the larger displacement Ducati and with a ridiculous price tag, the MV just doesn’t make sense. The 959 definitely clinches the middle-weight champion title on the Indian and International market.